A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Buzios vs. El Calafate for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Buzios or El Calafate?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Buzios or El Calafate? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: Buzios or El Calafate?

Buzios

Initially a fishing village, Armação dos Buzios is a small beach resort town about three hours from Rio de Janeiro by bus. Buzios is a common weekend getaway destination for Cariocas. With 23 beaches, visitors from all over come to swim, snorkel, surf and enjoy sun and sand.

El Calafate

Located in Patagonia, El Calafate has become a popular tourist destination in Argentina because of its beautiful setting on the stunningly blue Lago Argentina. The town sits on the southern border of the lake in the southwestern part of the Santa Cruz Province. It's about 320 kilometers from Rio Gallegos.

The rise in popularity of Patagonia as a tourist destination has truly put this small town on the map. You'll find no shortage of trekkers in the town and it makes an excellent base to explore different parts of the Los Glaciares National Park. Popular places to visit include Perito Moreno Glacier, Cerro Chalten, and Cerro Torre.

El Calafate has a cold semi-arid climate. The summers are cool to warm and very dry while the winters are cold and damp. Lago Argentino has a significant influence over the town's climate. The shallow bay where the town is located is usually frozen during the winter months.

Check out our ultimate guide to Hiking in Patagonia.

Which place is cheaper, El Calafate or Buzios?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Buzios is $79, while the average daily cost in El Calafate is $10. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Buzios and El Calafate in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Buzios $38
    El Calafate $3.56
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Buzios $76
    El Calafate $7.12
Compare Hotels in Buzios and El Calafate

Looking for a hotel in Buzios or El Calafate? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Buzios


Hotels in El Calafate


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: El Calafate Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Buzios $19
    El Calafate $3.67

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Buzios

Also for Buzios, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Tour in Buzios City Tour, Lunch and Transfer: $60
  • Private transfer from Buzios to the GIG Airport : $196
  • Private transfer Minivan from GIG Rio Galeao airport up to 6 pax to Buzios: $115
  • Private transfer Buzios in Rio to the SDU Airport : $196
  • Private Transfer from GIG Airport to City Buzios in Rio : $170
  • Private Transfer from Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro: $91
  • Private Transfer from Buzios Port to Santos Dumont Airport (SDU): $32
  • Private Transfer from Buzios Port to Cabo Frio Airport (CFB): $43
  • Private Transfer from Buzios Port to Cabo Frio Airport (CFB): $47
  • Private Transfer from Buzios Cruise Port to Santos Dumont (SDU): $29
  • Private Transfer from Buzios Cruise Port to Rio de Janeiro hotels: $29
  • Private Transfer from Buzios Cruise Port to Rio de Janeiro hotels: $32

Typical Local Transportation Prices in El Calafate

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in El Calafate:


  • Taxi
    $1.45

Hired Cars and Shuttles in El Calafate

Also for El Calafate, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Perito Moreno Glacier Mini Trek with Transfer: $456
  • South Glacier Pioneers with transfer: $300
  • Mini trekking Perito Moreno with Footbridges visit and Transfer: $299
  • El Calafate Airport Private Transfer: $107
  • Private Transfer Airport-Hotel-Airport (Calafate): $90
  • Shared transfer to El Calafate -El Chaltén: $75
  • Excursion to the Perito Moreno Glacier, with guide and transfer to / from the hotel: $55
  • Roundtrip transfer in Private Car from Calafate Airport (FTE)- Calafate City: $49
  • Private Transfer Hotel-Bus Station or Bus Station-Hotel (Calafate): $35
  • Transfer to and form Airport El Calafate: $33
  • Shared Transfer Airport-Hotel-Airport (Calafate): $32
  • Shared Transfer Airport - Hotel in El Calafate: $32

Is it cheaper to fly into Buzios or El Calafate?

Prices for flights to both El Calafate and Buzios change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Buzios $24
    El Calafate $3.86

Typical Food Prices in El Calafate

For El Calafate, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Dessert
    $0.01
  • Dinner
    $1.88
  • Dinner
    $1.11

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in El Calafate

For El Calafate, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Argentine Dinner with Live Music Folklore -Estancia 25 de Mayo: $48
  • Country Afternoon with Dinner Show - Estancia 25 de Mayo: $100
  • Lakes and Caves Tour with Dinner: $118
  • Estancia 25 de Mayo in El Calafate - PM visit with dinner: $186

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Buzios $27
    El Calafate $3.86

Tours and Activities in Buzios

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Buzios.

  •  Trolley Tour Through the City Buzios: $29
  • 3-hour Small Group Buzios Peninsula Open Air Trolley Tour: $25
  • 7 Beaches In Búzios With Photos On A Private Tour!: $36
  • Búzios Full day: Boat and Trolley Tour with Lunch from Arraial do Cabo: $92
  • Búzios Full day: Boat and Trolley Tour with Lunch from Búzios: $93
  • Búzios Full day: Boat and Trolley Tour with Lunch from Cabo Frio: $92
  • Boat Tour in Arraial do Cabo: $24
  • Boat Tour in Arraial do Cabo from Buzios with Lunch: $60
  • Buggy Ride in Buzios by Buziana Tour: $16
  • Buggy Tour in Arraial do Cabo by Arraial Trips (For 2 People): $57
  • Cabo Frio Full-Day Tour From Buzios with Lunch: $68
  • Catamaran Boat Tour in Búzios: $24

Typical Entertainment Prices in El Calafate

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for El Calafate's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Glacerium Museum
    $1.45

Tours and Activities in El Calafate

For El Calafate, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Argentine Cuisine Experience in El Calafate: $65
  • "Calafate Night" Astrotourism in El Calafate: $130
  • "Glaciares Gourmet" - Maria Turquesa Cruiser Navigation (classic): $285
  • "Todo Glaciares" boat tour from El Calafate. : $210
  • 4x4 adventure: $136
  • Alternative tour to the Perito Moreno Glacier: $71
  • Blue Safari Experience: Hiking and Navigation on Glaciers: $180
  • CALAFATE: Panoramic tour: The best balconies of Calafate: $140
  • Cañadón Experience: $130
  • Cañadón Experience: $160
  • Calafate City Tour with Walichu Caves: $61
  • Chalten Full Day Trekking Experience - Laguna de los Tres: $135

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Buzios $18
    El Calafate $1.93

Typical Alcohol Prices in El Calafate

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in El Calafate:


  • Beer
    $0.01
  • Alcohol
    $0.39

Sample the Local Flavors in El Calafate

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in El Calafate:

  • Calafate Wine Tours | Pedestrian City Tour Paired with Wines: $42


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Buzios and El Calafate, we can see that Buzios is more expensive. And not only is El Calafate much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to El Calafate would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in El Calafate and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Buzios would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Buzios than you might in El Calafate.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Buzios Expensive? and Is El Calafate Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Buzios or El Calafate?

Buzios has a larger population, and is about 3 times larger than the population of El Calafate. When comparing the sizes of Buzios and El Calafate, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.